Predictions and Best Bets for Week 2 NFL Preseason Games on August 21, 2021

| August 18, 2021 11:09 am PDT

If you’re craving real NFL action, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before the 2021 season kicks off. In the meantime, you can quench your thirst for football by placing some bets on the preseason games this weekend.

Ten games of Week 2 of the 2021 NFL preseason are on the program this Saturday, so there are plenty of betting options available.

The bad news is that NFL preseason games are famously unpredictable. We saw the Bengals beat the Super Bowl champions, even though the moneyline odds on the Bucs were as short as -263 before the game.

To prepare for the volatility of it all, read these NFL preseason betting tips.

The good news is, I’m here to help you dig out some good NFL preseason bets. I will now share my four top predictions for Saturday, presenting you with the bets I’m going to put my money on. So, let’s start!

Dallas Cowboys to Beat Houston Texans (-185)

The Houston Texans are at the very bottom of the ESPN Power Rankings and are the biggest Super Bowl underdogs. The odds on them getting ahold of the Lombardy Trophy is +50000 at most online sportsbooks.

Nevertheless, they did upset the oddsmakers in the first week of the NFL preseason. Last Saturday, we saw them beat the Green Bay Packers 26-7.

It’s a fantastic feat on its own, but you should also know that the Texans were playing without Deshaun Watson, who’s missed only one game as their starting QB in the past three seasons.

He’ll miss this game as well, with Davis Mills and Tyrod Taylor again leading Houston’s passing game on Saturday. The two weren’t too impressive against Green Bay, though, failing to throw a single touchdown.

Instead, the Texans scored their two TDs through rushing, courtesy of their running backs, Scottie Phillips and Darius Jackson.

It’s the defense the Texans’ coach David Culley should thank for that win. They managed to keep Green Bay’s offense at bay, allowing only one TD. Can they do the same twice?

Probably not. One of the reasons being that the Cowboys might have their best player on the field on Saturday.

Although coach Mike McCarthy said there’s no urgency in playing Dak Prescott in the preseason, the QB is reportedly very eager to get back in the game.

“If he doesn’t play this week, I won’t play him in the fourth [game of the preseason]… The fourth one is for the players competing for the roster spots.” Mike McCarthy

The most likely scenario is that Prescott will take a few snaps on Saturday but won’t spend many minutes on the field. Instead, it’s his backups who will get more play time – Ben DiNucci, Garrett Gilbert, and Cooper Rush – all of whom look capable of slicing up the Texans’ defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers to Beat Detroit Lions (-250)

The Steelers are one of only two teams with four preseason games this summer. For them, the Detroit Lions clash is going to be their third game of the preseason.

Pittsburgh won the previous two, beating Dallas in the Hall of Fame Game, followed by a win over Philadelphia. In both of those games, the Steelers’ defense was superb, allowing 3 and 16 points, respectively.

Their offense also did okay, with a total of 40 points in those two games. However, this time, they’re expected to be even more productive.

The reason? Big Ben will play.

Even without Roethlisberger leading the Pittsburgh offense, they would be favored to beat the Lions. The reason is, the Detroit franchise looks like one of the weakest teams in the league. In the Power Rankings, they’re 31st.

Furthermore, their new quarterback didn’t have the best possible start in his Detroit debut. Against the Bills, Jared Goff made 7-of-9 passes for 56 yards. He made no TD passes, and we saw him getting sacked once.

Tennessee Titans to Beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-105)

Both teams are famous for their offensive power, but in this game, I don’t expect to see too many points. In fact, I’m certain this will be a low-scoring game. The question is, who will score more?

I think the Titans will, as they have great momentum following the 23-3 win over the Falcons last weekend.

Sure, the Buccaneers have a fabulous offense, with Tom Brady as their signal-caller. However, it’s almost certain that he will get only limited playing time on Saturday, the same as in the previous game.

Tom Brady spent only a couple of minutes on the field in the Bucs’ first preseason game, making 1-of-2 passes for nine yards. Despite playing only a limited amount of time, we saw him get sacked on the final of his six snaps.

The Bucs’ backups lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 of the preseason. The final score was 19-14 for the Ohio franchise, which came as a major surprise. Not only are the Bengals much weaker than the Bucs, but their starting QB Zac Wilson didn’t play a single minute.

If the Bengals were able to beat them, so should the Titans, whose coach Mike Vrabel revealed his plan to give a chance to some of the rookies on Saturday. As they’re competing for a first-team spot in the regular season, you can expect those guys to be super-motivated against Tampa.

Buffalo Bills to Beat Chicago Bears (+180)

Buffalo’s quarterback Josh Allen did not play in his team’s first game of the 2021 preseason. However, the #2 regular-season MVP candidate is expected to feature against the Chicago Bears.

Josh Allen’s MVP odds are +800 at the moment. That makes him the second favorite, just behind Patrick Mahomes, who’s priced at +350.

Still, we probably aren’t going to see him playing much in the Bills vs. Bears game. The same goes for Buffalo’s starters in other positions, including wide receivers Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs.

Instead, it’s the rookies who are supposed to run the show. Even without their superstars on the field, the Bills were able to beat the Detroit Lions.

The Bears should also keep their starters off the field on Saturday. However, the Bears’ rookies shouldn’t be underestimated. In fact, they were the ones who led the team to the win against the Miami Dolphins in the preseason Week 1.

Justin Fields, Chicago’s rookie quarterback, was the man in the spotlight. The Bears picked him in the first round of the 2021 Draft.

Can he do something similar against Buffalo? He might unless Gregory Rousseau stops him.

The Bills’ first-round pick is aiming for a starting role in the upcoming season. In his debut, the 6’6 defensive end recorded a sack on Jared Goff.

More Predictions for NFL Preseason Games on Saturday, August 21

Green Bay Packers to Beat New York Jets+110
Los Angeles Rams to Beat Las Vegas Raiders+255
Seattle Seahawks to Beat Denver Broncos+185
Atlanta Falcons to Beat Miami Dolphins+185
Baltimore Ravens to Beat Carolina Panthers-175
Minnesota Vikings to Beat Indianapolis Colts-150

In four of the six remaining NFL preseason games scheduled for Saturday, I picked the teams that oddsmakers see as underdogs. Why? One reason is that upsets often happen in preseason. Another reason is that I don’t agree with bookmakers about which teams are underdogs.

Green Bay is a good example – even though the Packers’ best players won’t play, their backups should do well against the Jets.

It’s basically the same story when it comes to the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks.

The reason why I think the Falcons could get a win on Saturday is that they really need to improve their offense after a humiliating performance against the Titans last weekend.

What about the final two picks – Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings? The reason why I think they will win is that the two are playing against teams whose key men are absent.

QB Carson Wentz is recovering from foot surgery and will not feature in the Colts’ preseason games. Meanwhile, the Panthers are reportedly planning to keep RB Christian McCaffrey off the field until the start of the 2021 season – they want to be sure he stays injury-free.

Ready to bet on the NFL preseason in week two? Head over to the top NFL mobile betting apps now.

Zarko Naric
Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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